RealTime IT News

Web Revenue Growth Helps CNET Beat Estimates

An 86 percent jump in online revenues in the third quarter helped Internet publisher and television programmer CNET Inc. eclipse Wall Street estimates.

The company late Monday reported earnings of $3.7 million, or 21 cents a diluted share, compared to a loss of $6.2 million, or 45 cents a share, in 1997. Third-quarter revenues leaped to $14.4 million from $8.7 million a year ago.

Those results include a one-time gain of $5.3 million from the company's sale of 578,000 shares in Vignette Corp., a maker of Web site management tools that builds on technology developed at CNET.

CNET reported an operating profit of $1.1 million compared to an operating loss of $6.3 million in 1997. Excluding one-time gains from the sale of its Vignette stake, CNET lost $1.6 million, or 9 cents a share. That still beats the forecast of Wall Street analysts who were looking for a 12-cent loss. Analyst estimates exclude one-time gains and charges.

The company's online revenues jumped to $12.6 million from $6.8 million last year. Revenues fell slightly in its television unit, slumping to $1.77 million from $1.81 million last year.

CNET said traffic on its network of Web sites climbed to an average of 7.2 million page views a day at the end of the quarter compared to 6.5 million at the end of Q2.

Halsey Minor, CNET chairman and chief executive officer, said the company is well on its way to its vision of becoming a leading Internet portal for computing and technology.

"By seamlessly integrating our existing resources with the best resources from around the Web, CNET is positioning itself to capture more market share in a category that is one of the most attractive on the Internet," he said.